Crowds gather to remember slain June 4 protesters - RTHK
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Crowds gather to remember slain June 4 protesters

2019-06-04 HKT 18:12
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  • Crowds gather to remember slain June 4 protesters
  • People started to arrive at Victoria Park well before the 8pm start of the June 4 vigil. Photo: RTHK
    People started to arrive at Victoria Park well before the 8pm start of the June 4 vigil. Photo: RTHK
  • Organisers said the rain would not affect Tuesday night's vigil. Photo: RTHK
    Organisers said the rain would not affect Tuesday night's vigil. Photo: RTHK
  • Pro-democracy groups set up banners and stalls in the vicinity of the park in Causeway Bay. Photo: RTHK
    Pro-democracy groups set up banners and stalls in the vicinity of the park in Causeway Bay. Photo: RTHK
Lee Cheuk-yan
Crowds of people began arriving at Victoria Park hours in advance of Tuesday night's June 4 vigil, with organisers saying they expected up to 180,000 would brave the unsettled weather to remember those who died when Beijing crushed the mainland's 1989 pro-democracy movement.

One Chinese University student said it was understandable that some young people chose not to attend the annual commemorations, but said it's difficult to separate Hong Kong and China affairs as what happens on the mainland affects the SAR's freedoms.

Meanwhile, a Mr Chung who also arrived early told RTHK that he attends the candelight vigil every year and although he is now 70, he plans to keep turning up to make sure the next generation is aware of how the Communist Party used the army to slaughter Chinese people.

A Form 5 student said joining the annual event is important because the central government's oppression is becoming more and more harmful.

Another man said he was participating because he feared the vigil would not be held next year, while a number of mainlanders said they were attending the vigil for the first time, to find out how the events of 1989 are remembered by people outside the mainland.

Lee Cheuk-yan, the secretary of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China which organises the vigil, said he didn't think the poor weather would affect this year's turnout.

"I believe that the people in Hong Kong are very much determined to show their remembrance of 30 years ago and also to condemn the massacre," Lee said.

"It changed Hong Kong totally, what happened 30 years ago, and at the same time there's a sense of urgency also in Hong Kong when they are trying to introduce the extradition bill. I think the people of Hong Kong would also like to express their concern for their freedoms now."

Earlier, Albert Ho from the alliance said this year could be the final time that exiled Tiananmen dissidents are able to join the vigil safely, because of the government's plans to change the law to allow extraditions to the mainland.

Ho warned that if the authorities allow dissidents into Hong Kong in the future it could just be so they can be arrested and handed over to Beijing.